NCAA Basketball Pick: Hofstra Pride vs. Towson Tigers

LT Profits Sports Group

Monday, January 27, 2014 5:00 AM GMT

The Hofstra Price and the Towson Tigers are both part of a three-way tie for second place in the CAA as one team tries to get some separation when they meet on Monday.

The big road underdog could be an overlay in CAA play Monday night when the Hofstra Price (7-13, 1-7 away) pay a visit to the Towson Tigers (12-8, 9-1 home) at SECU Arena in Towson, MD at 7:00 ET.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Hofstra as a double-digit underdog for this contest with the current line at +10 with odds of -112.

Towson may be 12-8 overall while Hofstra is 7-13, but do not read too much into that as the Pride lost to some good non-conference competition such as Louisville, SMU, George Washington, Richmond and Manhattan. There has not been much difference in the play of these teams since the start of CAA play, which is why both clubs are part of a three-way tie along with William & Mary for second place in the conference at 3-2, trailing only Delaware.

Towson comes in on a two-game losing streak following a 3-0 conference start, as they lost on the road at Delaware and at home to Northeastern, marking the Tigers’ first loss in their sparkling new SECU Arena.

Hofstra could potentially dominate the glass in this contest, which is a nice trait for a large underdog, especially since the Pride’s strength has been offensive rebounding. Hofstra is ranked 32nd in the entire country in offensive rebounding percentage at 37.0 percent against a national average of 31.6 percent, and the Pride of also been monsters on the defensive glass since the start of CAA play, leading the conference by grabbing opponents’ misses 72.8 percent of the time.

The Pride are led by Illinois State transfer Zeke Upshaw, who is loving life in Hempstead while averaging 18.8 points after averaging only 2.5 points in more limited minutes with the Redbirds last season, marking the biggest jump in scoring average in the country this season and one of the biggest jumps in history.

Towson was living a charmed life while going 9-0 in its first nine games in its brand new arena, but that came to a crashing halt with a 57-54 loss here to Northeastern last week where the Tigers could not overcome a 40-21 halftime deficit. They then struggled offensively in an 83-76 loss at Delaware where they would have been blown out if not for making 28 free throws, as they shot just 40.4 percent from the field and went 2-for-17 on three-pointer attempts.

In fact the Tigers are just eighth during conference play in effective field goal percentage at 46.3 percent. But the bigger concern for Towson is that it ranks dead last in the CAA during conference play in defensive rebounding percentage, allowing opposing teams to rebound their own misses 37.0 percent of the time, and as mentioned that is something that Hofstra could certainly exploit.

All of those expected second chance opportunities for the Pride could lead to either easy put-backs or extended possessions, and either of those events is advantageous to double-digit underdogs like this.

When you then add in that the Hofstra offense is third during conference play in effective filed goal percentage at 50.2 percent and third in three-point shooting at 37.6 percent, these big points seen worth taking in the road on Monday.

[gameodds]14/256057/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: Hofstra +10 (-112)